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Obama figures out it is easier to pass blame onto to Republicans (than it is to work with them)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - January 24, 2014.
Filed under: Blame Republicans first,Obama Incompetence

If President Obama listened to a certain someone who spoke to Jay Leno about changing Washington nigh on five years ago, he might spend more time talking to them than blaming some in the conservative media.

As readers who remember my blog postings will surely recall, in March 2009, that certain someone said:

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

But, early this morning, Yahoo! was leading with an article reporting:

President Barack Obama is blaming his rocky relationship with Republicans in Congress on Rush Limbaugh, and the constant stream of bad press he receives from Fox News.

In the New Yorker follow-up interview to the magazine’s in-depth portrait of the President, Obama is described as being “particularly touchy” when discussing the notion that his inability to compromise with Republicans prevents him from passing more legislation.

Interesting that the folks at Yahoo! Celebrity headline this as Obama calling out Rush Limbaugh et al., as if he is being bold and daring and standing up to bullies. No, the problem isn’t bullies on the right, but inaction from the White House.  When was the last time Mr. Obama invited any Republican leaders for a round of golf or to to a “beer summit” at the White House?

But what they really should be asking is why Mr. Obama doesn’t do as other presidents have done and invite his partisan adversaries to the White House or otherwise attempt to hash out their differences.

Funny that our legacy media aren’t asking why Obama is always looking for someone else to blame.

Obama expects Boehner to come up with solutions?

More to mock the Democrat than to praise him, my nephew shared this image team Obama is offering of Facebook:

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 8.17.46 AM

And just what solutions to the impasse have you offered, Mr. President?

Remember what a certain politician said back in March 2009 about ending the pattern of looking for someone else to blame?

Evidence that Obama did not succeed in changing Washington

Barack Obama, March 2009:

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

Barack Obama, October 2013:

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10.12.25 AM

SOMEWHAT RELATED: Michael Barone is also pointing the finger: Blame James Madison for the government shutdown. Well, I guess that gets Obama off the hook.

Semi-open thread: Does Obama Want a Government Shutdown?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - September 30, 2013.
Filed under: Blame Republicans first

Methinks he may want a shutdown so he can have another excuse to attack Republicans.

This headline helps strengthen that suspicion: HALPERIN: OBAMA OKAY WITH SHUTDOWN BECAUSE MEDIA HAS HIS BACK:

Intentionally or not, Monday on Morning Joe, Time’s Mark Halperin revealed to the world how the American media’s pro-Obama bias will in part be to blame for any coming government shutdown. When asked if President Obama had an incentive to negotiate with the GOP, Halperin explained that, “The White House does not have much incentive. They think the trends are going to go in their direction at the end of the week, or early next week at the latest; because again, the press is largely sympathetic to their arguments on this.”

No wonder he hasn’t met with House Republicans to try to work out their differences.

Am I right to speculate that Obama might want to see the government shutdown? Or he sincere in his commitment to keep it open? (If he is, please detail what he has done to prevent the shutdown.)

So, readers, use the comments section below to let us know what you think . . .

UPDATE:  Contending that “Obama Wants a Shutdown, So He’ll Get a Shutdown,” Bryan Preston observes:

Republicans never threatened a shutdown during this entire debate. They made a point to fund the rest of the government while defunding or now delaying Obamacare. It has been Obama and the Democrats who have threatened a shutdown. The media, like Obama, will not only depend on the ignorance of the average American, they will actively foster that ignorance with deception and misdirection. That’s their schtick.

He also reminds us:

Other congresses have also fought over spending and attached conditions to debt ceiling hikes, going all the way back to the time of Eisenhower. Democrat congresses shut the government down under Reagan, about a dozen times. You’re not supposed to know any of that, though.

Liberals on Detroit: Do they actually believe what they’re saying?

At times, certain spokespeople for leftism will assert notions which are so unreal that I must stop to ponder: Are they cynical, that is, people who knowingly spread lies in a quest to gain power through manipulation of the unwary?

Or are they self-deluded and mentally ‘flexible’, Orwell-style, such that they do believe what they are saying – at least in the moment of saying it?

The latest example is Detroit. Its decades of decline are, of course, due in large measure to its decades of uninterrupted rule by left-liberals, as mentioned here.

In reaction, a wave of left-liberals on TV have claimed that Detroit failed because of…(wait for it)…conservatives, Republicans, and small-government policies. For examples, see here (Sally Kohn), here (Ed Schultz) and here (Melissa Harris-Perry with Howard Dean).

So, which is it? Do they lie knowingly? Or are they “that” deluded?

Sally Kohn’s example is instructive for other reasons. She worries that conservatives will “try to use Detroit falsely as an example to push more austerity.”

Think about what she’s saying. She obviously wants the opposite of “austerity”, which word she means as a pejorative for tight government spending and balanced budgets. It follows that she prefers loose government spending and unbalanced budgets, the very factors that have mathematically bankrupted Detroit.

In other words, her solution to Detroit’s decline and bankruptcy is, moar profligacy. Thus proving that, for left-liberals, it is never never ever a good time to reduce government spending.

UPDATE: Commentor BL mentions the possibility that people could be deluded from mis-education. I can accept that answer for younger leftists. It’s problematic for the older ones, because for older people, mis-education is a choice.

Obama advisor always looking for someone else to blame

After Obama’s roughest week,” reports Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner, “White House points finger at GOP”:

White House officials on Sunday dismissed Republican attacks over three simmering scandals as a partisan witch hunt, hoping to put behind them President Obama’s single worst week in office and to move Washington’s attention back to his second-term agenda.

While Obama was delivering a commencement address at the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, his top surrogates fanned out across the Sunday morning talk shows to defuse claims that the administration has violated constitutional boundaries and to blame the controversies on partisan politics as usual.

“We’ve seen this playbook from the Republicans before,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior Obama adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “What they want to do when they’re lacking a positive agenda is try to drag Washington into a swamp of partisan fishing expeditions, trumped-up hearings and false allegations. We’re not going to let that happen.”

Well, they wouldn’t need go on any fishing expeditions if Mr. Pfeiffer and his team would just answer the questions Republicans have been asking. It’s unfortunate that instead of answering those questions, Mr. Pfeiffer has chosen to blame Republicans.

Wish Mr. Pfeiffer had instead listened to his boss who just over four years ago spelled out for Jay Leno what he intended to do as President of the United States, including breaking that “pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

Guess that’s a pattern Mr. Pfeiffer isn’t interested in breaking.

As the French say, Plus ça change. . . .

Scandal central? Or a whole lot of talk that will amount to nothing?

As the scandals engulfing the Obama Administration have proliferated and “gotten legs” this week, many of the conservatives I know or whom I hear on the radio have started drawing comparisons with what happened under Nixon, bringing up the word “impeachment,” and hoping that as  it becomes evident that these activities were not accidents but part of a coordinated strategy, Obama will eventually resign, or at least some of those who hold key posts of power in this administration–such as Eric Holder–will resign and that the Administration will be hopelessly tainted as the truth becomes known.

I hear that talk, and I think, it would be nice, but I can’t see it happening.  Maybe Holder will resign.  Maybe.

I can imagine the press starting to subject the Obama Administration to a little more scrutiny in the future, but “a little more” than none is still only a little bit of scrutiny, hardly enough to make a significant difference in public opinion.  While the outrage surrounding all of this may be enough for the Republicans to hold the House and to gain control in the Senate in 2014, there will still be formidable problems, and we’ll still have a very divided country.  The low-information voters in the electorate will still be willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because most of them are either unwilling to see him for the cynical, partisan character he is, or they are unable to do so.

It is possible that after a year or two of scandals and after the outrage that is sure to follow the full implementation of Obamacare, Obama will end his second term with even lower approval ratings than George W. Bush ended his, but at this point, I think that’s about the most we can hope for, that, and maybe Holder’s resignation.  I’m not even sure any of this will derail the immigration bill, which is looking more and more like the next legislative disaster coming down the pike.

I’m not trying to be pessimistic, merely practical.  In the lead-up to the election in November, I knew that what happened  with the administration’s lies about Benghazi was an outrage, but after the election, it seemed evident to me that Obama, Hillary, and the entire administration were going to get away without any consequences.  The American voters had failed to demand answers and accountability and had just re-elected Obama.

Now that the scandals are starting to illustrate the kinds of things conservatives have been saying about Obama for years and years now, some liberals are upset with Obama, but others are busy trying to find more ways to blame conservatives for making an issue of the problems.   In one of the most ironic defenses of Obama I have encountered so far, David Axelrod offered the “incompetence” excuse, namely, that the government is just too big for Obama to really know what’s going on, an excuse we are sure to hear echoed in the days ahead.  Forgive me if I can’t forget that in November the American electorate rejected a man who was renowned for his management skills and his ability to lead large organizations successfully, all so they could re-elect the “community organizer.”

So what do our readers think?  Am I just being pessimistic about all this?  Is the investigation of these scandals likely to have real and significant consequences for our government, or are they a lot of talk that will amount to nothing, or at least nothing much?

Leftists begin to realize that entitlements are bad

And they do it as only leftists can: by blaming nasssssty Republicans for magically changing how the voters feel about the word “entitlement”, which now begins to sound bad.

From the linked article:

Obama Programs Derided by Republicans as Pejorative Entitlements

…Republicans have been working to convert the once-neutral entitlement label into a negative…

…“‘Entitlement’ used to be a fairly positive thing,” said historian Edward Berkowitz, an expert on social-welfare policy at George Washington University in Washington. “Now, the term is being changed. Entitlement is this form of social spending that’s getting out of control.”

Look, Mr. Berkowitz: If Republicans’ power to mold language/voters were that good, Romney would have won in 2012.

But further down, some facts creep into the article:

…Obama [ed: yes; not Republicans] last week proposed changing the formula for calculating cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients [to reduce future benefits]…

Spending on Social Security and…Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and jobless benefits — rose 40 percent over the decade ending in 2012…more than twice the inflation-adjusted increase in the size of the economy…

…while Democrats portray the most costly entitlements as benefits that voters have paid for, typical wage-earners retiring in 2010 will receive at least $3 for every $1 they contributed to [Medicare]…

Social Security’s disability trust fund is expected to be exhausted in 2016…A two-income couple with both individuals earning an average wage of $44,600 who reached age 65 in 1960 received more than seven times as much in lifetime benefits as they paid in…

Golly, do you think maybe the facts are what make the word “entitlement” seem bad? That maybe entitlements are a “form of social spending that’s getting out of control”?

Brave kid

In Ace’s “Headlines” sidebar, I just noticed this post at FreedomWorks: 15 Year Old Wisconsin Conservative Meets Bullying From Teachers.

Worth a skim. To be clear: By “bullying”, he does not mean physical assault, but rather a series of moral-emotional assaults from teachers who single him out for questioning (sometimes invasive) and ridicule. From Mr. Backer’s conclusion:

If teachers want bullying to end with homosexuals, other races or religious beliefs, they should want it to end with every type of bullying possible, including political views.

I haven’t done any research that would let me vouch for Mr. Backer’s story, but if it’s true, it’s chilling. Or, to say something more positive: that kid has guts!

Will Obama ever stop looking for someone else to blame?

Four years ago this month President Barack Obama told Jay Leno that one thing he wanted “to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

Seems he was talking to the late night talk show host the way some people talk to a therapist by projecting their own problems onto others.  Not since Nixon have we seen a president so obsessed with his “enemies.”  As the sequester goes into effect, a “combative” Mr. Obama, reports the AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn, “blamed Republican lawmakers Friday for failing to stop automatic spending cuts that were to begin kicking in later in the day, calling the cuts ‘dumb, arbitrary.’

Barack Obama is always looking for somebody else to blame.  And this week, he is trying to shift the blame for his (and his party’s) failure to control spending (and avert the sequester) onto Republicans.

In his column today, Charles Krauthammer reminds us that the Democratic Senate
hasn’t passed a budget . . .

. . . in four years. And the White House, which proposed the sequester in the first place, had 18 months to establish rational priorities among accounts — and did nothing.

When the GOP House passed an alternative that cut where the real money is — entitlement spending — President Obama threatened a veto. Meaning, he would have insisted that the sequester go into effect — the very same sequester he now tells us will bring on Armageddon.

Republicans need to keep challenging the president to put forward his plans to cut spending (remember that was part of the “balanced approach” he favored to address our nation’s debt crisis*) because nearly every voice in the legacy media seems intent on ignoring the president’s spendthrift record.

The blame here lies with the president and his party.  Instead of working with Republican leaders over the past 18 months to try to reach a compromise on spending, he spent that time demonizing them.  As is doing so today.

Will Americans continue to join him in shifting the blame?

* (more…)

Obama: still blaming after all these years

The incumbent President of the United States has decided to lay off blaming his predecessor for the nation’s sorry economic and fiscal situation and is now blaming someone else:

Facing an end of the week deadline, President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress can avert sweeping across-the-board cuts with “just a little bit of compromise,” as he sought to stick lawmakers with the blame if the budget ax falls.

Obama’s always trying to stick someone else with the blame.  He tries to pin the blame on Congress even while, as Jim Geraghty reports, he “has not met any congressional leaders face-to-face to discuss avoiding sequestration yet.

If he really wanted to avoid these cuts, he’d been holding regular meetings with these leaders.  Seems he’d rather blame Congress than sit down with its leaders.

And this from the guy who four years ago told Jay Leno that one thing he wanted “to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

Physician, heal thyself.

Hearing Obama on Lincoln’s Birthday

Presidents’ Day is this coming Monday, but Lincoln’s birthday was this past Tuesday, February 12th.  I was traveling that day, and had the misfortune of being subjected to hearing most of the State of the Union address as I completed the last leg of that day’s journey.

As Dan and others have pointed out many times in the past, Obama is fond of comparing himself to Republican Presidents, especially Lincoln and Reagan.  Perhaps it is because both Lincoln and Reagan were associated with the state of Illinois: Reagan was born there, grew up there, and went to college there, and although Lincoln didn’t move to Illinois until his 21st year, he is most associated with the state where he became a country lawyer, served in the state legislature, and represented a district in the House of Representatives.

Or perhaps Obama compares himself to Republicans because he doesn’t want to remind the public that his political views place him to the left of Clinton, Carter, and Johnson, or, for that matter, far, far to the left of Kennedy.  Perhaps he simply wants to preserve the narrative about his alleged “post-partisanship” and thinks that comparing himself to Republican Presidents is one way to keep pulling the wool over the public’s eyes in that regard.

Whatever the reason, hearing him speak on Lincoln’s birthday only reminded me, once again, how far Obama falls from Lincoln’s historic presidency (despite Steven Spielberg’s and Tony Kushner’s attempts to draw such a parallel through their recent film).   Not only was the speech the usual melange of the same tiresome platitudes we’ve been hearing from him over the last five years, as both Bruce and Jeff have pointed out here, it was also full of his usual partisan talking points, as he placed blame on Republicans wherever he could, and he rationalized future power-grabs by the Executive branch.

In the context of Lincoln’s birthday, though, I am less interested in the SOTU, and more interested in what Obama said on January 21st of this year.  Until Bruce posted the entirety of Washington’s second inaugural last month, the second inaugural address I was most familiar with was Lincoln’s.  I had read about FDR’s second inaugural address, but never felt moved to read it in its entirety, and have generally had just passing interest in the speeches delivered on the second inaugurals of the presidents who were re-elected in my lifetime.  But Lincoln’s second inaugural address is anthologized in textbooks alongside the Gettysburg Address, and I have read both many times.  They are both lessons in brevity, resolve and humility.

Consider, for instance, the way that Lincoln discusses the issue of slavery and the conflict between the North and the South in his second inaugural address:

Both [sides] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

These are not the words of a proud and arrogant man.  These are the words of a man who is troubled by the horrible conflict which has engulfed his nation and who prays for its speedy resolution, even as he fears the terrible price that both sides in the conflict still have to pay.  Lincoln’s words are even more powerful in that way that they echo, perhaps unintentionally, one of Jefferson’s most striking passages from his Notes on the State of Virginia:

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Obama team blames others for economic contraction

On March 19, 2009, President Obama told Jay Leno that ‘one of the things’ he was ‘trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.‘”

The recent Yahoo! headlines suggest that his team is not heeding that advice:

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 10.16.50 AM

With news that Q$ GOP, expected to increase by just over 1%, has dropped 0.1%, the Democrat’s team, as the outset of Obama’s second term is, well, looking for someone else to blame:

The White House on Wednesday blamed the devastation from Superstorm Sandy and disruptions from deep scheduled spending cuts for the surprise 0.1 percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2012. It was the first such contraction since early 2009 when the country was in the grips of the Great Recession.

Republicans need to both press the Democrat to articulate his plans for economic growth–and present their own alternative as well.

Will anyone in legacy media ask Obama about bigger government he didn’t pay for?

Back in August, 2011. when reporting that the national debt has increased by $4 trillion under President Obama, CBS News’s Mark Knoller reported that:

Mr. Obama blames policies inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt. He singles out:

  • “two wars we didn’t pay for”
  • “a prescription drug program for seniors…we didn’t pay for.”
  • “tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for.”

Mr. Obama has now been reelected to a second term. The debt continues to increase.

At the outset of Mr. Obama’s term, shortly after passing the $800 billion stimulus, the Democratic 109th Congress passed a budget spending $400 billion more in FY2009 that Mr. Obama’s predecessor had requested in his last budget.  Will any reporter ask Mr. Obama about these spending increases he — and his party — didn’t pay for?

Just asking.

Reportedly? He does that all the time.

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:01 pm - December 22, 2012.
Filed under: Blame Republicans first,Media Bias

The White House press office, er, Huffington Post, reports, Obama State Of The Union Address: President Reportedly Threatened To Blame Republicans

Obama’s idea of leadership: blame others for your problems

One of the many reasons those of us on the right are upset with Obama’s reelection is that we believe, along with one of the incumbent’s Democratic predecessors that the buck should stop with the man in the Oval Office.  And the current Democratic chief executive seems to believe the buck stops with his ideological and partisan adversaries.  Yesterday, Jim Geraghty, while questioning “just how committed Obama is to policies that undermine America’s economic health“, did acknowledge that the Democrat. . .

. . . doesn’t blink upon running up more than $5 trillion in debt in less than four years, $3.4 billion to $4 billion per day. We know he loves, loves,loves blaming Republicans for everything. We know he will blame Republicans for failure to pass immigration reformbad jobs numbers, the deficit, the continuing housing crisisgridlock in Washington, the debt panel’s failure to reach a deal, the difficulty of life for the unemployed, and the inability to build the Keystone Pipeline.

Now at some point, the public may get really tired of his “it’s never my fault” routine, and  Obama might find himself in deep doo-doo. But so far, that hasn’t happened.

No, it just hasn’t happened.  And the public doesn’t tire of it nor does the media hold him to account even though at the at the dawn of his administration, Obama told Democrats that he was “trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

He didn’t break that pattern; he used it to define his defense.

NB:  Tweaked the title.

Obama doesn’t want to avoid the “fiscal cliff”;
he wants to politicize it

Democrats and the media may be trying to make Grover Norquist a fall guy in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, but at least that fan of small government gets what’s going on, telling Aaron Task of Yahoo! Finance:

I didn’t think this was case three weeks ago but do now think [President] Obama has decided to drive country over the fiscal cliff and blame the Republicans. . . . I spoke with people today — not are only there no [private] meetings going on, there are none planned . . . .

No meetings planned?  But, aren’t meetings one way opposing parties resolve their differences?  Well, the president for “the first time in days” did talk with Boehner by phone.  And Republican leaders do want to sit down with the president to talk specifics, but no meeting appears forthcoming.

If President Obama and Democrats really wanted to get something done, he would be working on an offer to counter that Speaker Boehner put forward instead of criticizing and taunting Republicans in public fora.

But, I would wager the Democrats will present no counteroffer this week.

And with Obama’s apparent unwillingness to meet with Republicans to work out a compromise, it’s not just Grover Norquist who thinks Obama is trying to blame the GOP.   Even an AP reporter gets the president’s game:  ”Presidential aides have even encouraged speculation that Obama is willing to let the economy go over the ‘fiscal cliff’ if necessary and gamble that the public blames Republicans for any fallout.”*

LIke Charles Krauthammer said, the president’s stance on these negotiations is all about playing politics and not about governing the country.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

* (more…)

Must be George W. Bush’s Fault

Budget deficit rises to $120 billion in October

UPDATE:  Turns out the deficit for this past October is higher than that for October 2011.

In closing argument, Obama is still running against W, says his policies created problems that now plague is

Ohio, we’ve tried our ideas and they work,” President Obama said yesterday in Lima, Ohio

We’ve tried the other folks’ ideas. They don’t work. The eight years before I took office, we tried their ideas. What did we get? We got falling incomes, record deficits … and an economic crisis that we’ve been cleaning up after ever since.

Falling incomes? Record deficits? Sounds like what we got those things when we tried Obama’s ideas.

So, please tell me exactly how Obama’s ideas worked.  Federal debt increased more in his (still uncompleted) first term than it did in both George W. Bush’s terms.  The unemployment rate is higher than it was the day he took office.  And much higher than the rate forecast by his team of economists when they pitched his “stimulus.”  The economic recovery is the slowest since the Great Depression.

It’s as if the neophyte challenger running against an incumbent president.  He’s not running on his record; he’s still running against George W. Bush.

And if George W. Bush is still responsible for today’s problems, then, well, Mr. Obama hasn’t been a very effective chief effective. . .

Obama’s (proposed) Department of Business & his Politics of Blame

On March 19, 2009, President Barack Obama told Jay Leno that “one of the things” he was “trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

Too bad he doesn’t practice what he preaches.

In announcing his intent to appoint a “Secretary of Business to oversee newly-consolidated government agencies” (should he win reelection), he couldn’t resist the temptation to lash out as Republicans:

Mr. Obama blamed Congress for such consolidation not happening during his first term because lawmakers have been “very protective about not giving up their jurisdiction over various pieces of government.” But the president has done little to push the idea himself.

(Via Jim Hoft.)  Just wondering Mr. Obama if you even asked Congress to effect such consolidation.

Kind of sounds like the guy blaming his friends from staying at home and playing video games instead of going to the movies when he never encouraged them to get off their duffs and get out of the house.  And never even manifested any intent of wanting to do anything different.

Seems this time he’s blaming Republicans for his own absence of initiative.